Thoughtful Thursday: The 2020 Nebula Awards: Novelettes & Short Stories

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 56th Annual Nebula conference (June 4-6) will be held online this year (as it was last year) and the 2020 Nebula Awards will be announced on Saturday, June 5, 2021.

Today let’s talk about the finalists for Best Short Story and Best Novelette. We’ll talk about other categories in a future column.

Here are the finalists in these categories. Click the links to read our reviews and get the links to the stories. Most can be read for free online.



Here are our favorites (hover for title & author, click for our review):

Which are your favorites? Which stories have you read? Who do you predict will win?

Give us your thoughts and predictions in the comments. One random commenter with a USA mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. (If you’re outside the USA, we’ll send you a $5 Amazon gift card.)

Good luck to all the finalists!

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  1. John Smith /

    The quirkiness and humor of “A Guide for Working Breeds” definitely appeals to me!

  2. Noneofyourbusiness /

    Well, the title of that first one certainly jumps out at you!

  3. Frederick Rossero /

    I hope The Pill by Meg Elison wins. It was a great example of a story that seems scary enough that it’s far-fetched, but is actually just a step away from reality.

    • Heather Etchevers /

      Totally agree. It was terrifying and mundane in equal measure, and made me think about my own attitude towards body size and health and beauty. Big Girl is a great collection overall.

      • Zina /

        I agree. Anything that makes us rethink our attitudes towards anything deserves to win.

    • Frederick, it’s so interesting that you put it that way. While reading it, I was thinking the same thing and it reminded me of Sarah Pinsker’s A Song for a New Day in which the government outlaws large gatherings due to terrorist threats (and, I think, a pandemic might have been mentioned, too). I reviewed that book in November 2019 and, though I LOVED the book, said I didn’t believe the premise. Just 6 months later I had to update the review to say I was wrong. I kept thinking about that while reading The Pill.

    • Kelly Lasiter /

      Just from Kat’s review, I totally agree! I’m looking forward to reading it soon.

  4. The Distinguished Professor /

    Haven’t read any of these, but they all sound worth reading.

  5. Jillian /

    These titles alone have me intrigued! All sound like interesting books.

  6. Lady Morar /

    By the title and description, “Open House on Haunted Hill” is nicely quirky.

  7. Jillian /

    I love short stories. It’s so gratifying to be able to quickly get through an amazing story.

  8. ¬¬¬Heather Etchevers,if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.

    If you live outside the USA we will send you a $5 Amazon gift card.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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